Trail through Chim­ney Park gets $6K boost

The Covington News - - Local News - GABRIEL KHOULI gkhouli@cov­news.com

Chim­ney Park, the hid­den out­door gem be­hind the Cov­ing­ton Branch Li­brary, is get­ting an­other nice boost as a long-awaited pedes­trian trail now snakes through its woods.

Work is mov­ing quickly on the li­brary to East­side High School trail, and the first leg of the trail, which goes through Chim­ney Park, will have its rib­bon cut­ting at 4:30 p.m., Dec. 2 at the park. The rib­bon cut­ting will pre­cede the an­nual Twi­lights at Chim­ney Park fes­ti­val.

If ev­ery­thing goes to plan, that por­tion will al- ready have benches and trash cans in place thanks to a $6,680.71 do­na­tion to lo­cal non­profit New­ton Trails cour­tesy of the South­ern Bi­cy­cle League, which do­nated the money from the prof­its it re­ceived by putting on the Cov­ing­ton Cen­tury Bike Ride. Even­tu­ally, the trail could also have bike racks and con­tain­ers with dog bags to make the trail more pet-friendly.

“The county and city pretty had much bare bones to get these things cleared, graded, paved and built, so we had com­mit­ted from day one to help with the ameni­ties,” said New­ton Trails Chair­man Mau- rice Carter.

The trail will even­tu­ally be 2.6 miles in the length, but the first por­tion will wind through Chim­ney Park, an ur­ban park in be­tween Floyd and Martin streets. The re­main­der of the trail is expected to be fin­ished in the com­ing months.

The Cov­ing­ton Cen­tury ride has been around for decades, but it went dor­mant for two years, be­fore the South­ern Bi­cy­cle League res­ur­rected it this past Au­gust. The ride will be sched­uled for the first Satur­day in Au­gust ev­ery year.

“The South­ern Bi­cy­cle League re­ally wanted to bring it back be­cause peo­ple were clam­or­ing for it, and I guess it just didn’t work out the past two years,” said Char­lotte Kuehn, an area res­i­dent and rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the league. “We had a lot of help and man­aged to get al­most 1,000 peo­ple to sign up. Even though the fore­cast was a tor­ren­tial down­pour, we had 936 souls who braved the bad weather. So, I think next year, if we have good weather, we’ll dou­ble that eas­ily.”

Kuehn said there has been talk of mak­ing the bike ride a week­end event

next year, which could pro­vide a tourism boost as more vis­i­tors stayed in the area’s ho­tels.

If any per­son or busi­ness would like to do- nate to New­ton Trails, in­clud­ing hav­ing a bench named in honor of some­one or a com­pany, they can do so through PayPal, by click­ing on the “Do­nate” but­ton at new­ton­trails.org.

In ad­di­tion to the do­na­tion to New­ton Trails, the South­ern Bi­cy­cle League do­nated the other half of the pro­ceeds to an­i­mal res­cue groups Pound Pup­pies ‘N Kit­tens, which has a lo­cal pres­ence, and Cony­ers-based Home­town An­i­mal Res­cue.

The do­na­tions fell un­der the theme of “Trails and Tails,” which is also the name of Kuehn’s or­ga­ni­za­tion, which will soon be­come a 501(c)(3) non­profit, she said.

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